Forty percent of food is wasted in America” – SaveTheFood.com
That’s a staggering number, and I’m embarrassed to admit I’ve contributed to those statistics. I cringe every time I toss food in the trash knowing there are billions of people starving in this world. In order to make changes, I find myself buying less when I shop but visiting the grocery store more frequently (it’s a trade-off well worth it).
Today’s post will focus on one small aspect of preserving a food I use frequently and find I’m still wasting a lot of: fresh herbs.
My plant-based recipes call for the use of fresh herbs frequently, but when I buy a bunch and only use a few tablespoons of it, I find them dead or dying in a week. What a waste! I know, I know, I should get serious about growing my own and clipping just what I need, but hey, baby steps here (I’m no gardener but am working towards learning how to become one).
Okay, so first things first….here’s what I’ve learned: herbs come in two groups: soft and hard.
Hard herbs have woody stems:
Soft herbs have tender stems:
When you buy your herbs, first wash and dry them thoroughly (and when you’re ready to cook, this will be a step you can skip). Hard herbs, I learned, should be wrapped in a damp paper towel and placed in a Ziploc bag and put in the crisper in the fridge.
Soft herbs (not surprisingly enough) should be treated like flowers! Snip the ends at an angle, prune any dead or dying leaves, and place them in a small jar of water in the refrigerator*. Apparently, you need to also cover them with plastic bags to keep moisture in and like flowers, you must change the water every few days.
*The only exception to this rule is basil, which should be treated like its soft-herb cousins but stored outside the fridge and away from direct sunlight.
I’ve found my bunches o’ herbs last MUCH longer than in the past and it’s always a pretty sight to see when I open my fridge to find mini green bouquets.
Do you have any food-saving tips you use that work well?
For more information on how to minimize food waste, visit http://www.SaveTheFood.com or get their app…. I use their Amazon Echo app diligently while I’m in my kitchen and love it!